We might escape from history, flee
down the hill, through a stand of willows,
into the fog on the Volga, and come
to a bargeman who for what little we have
will carry us away from whatever town that was,
where commissars and captains worked
their way through the rickety trains,
upending the horse carts, others
trailing behind them with the lists
of the enemy, running now to several volumes.
We might be caught, escape again,
and be caught again, and come so close to
the indifference of the machine guns
that we will learn an indifference of our own,
watching the man we stood beside being led away.
All we know is that as the story comes to a close
we are by all the inevitable miracles
still alive, for it is our story.
“Knight Without Armour,” 1937
Monty Jones is a writer in Austin, Texas. His book of poems Cracks in the Earth was published in 2018 by Cat Shadow Press of Austin.